Space is undeniably very big so being able to see what is out there has been difficult for astronomers and nearly impossible for the average person.
Over 1 Billion
Galaxies on the map.
Astronomers pulled images from Kitt Peak National Observatory and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory to create the jaw-dropping two-dimensional map, which can help not only astronomers, but also the general public understand where we are in the universe, as well as where we came from, and where we are going.
Creators of the map are also hopeful to learn more about "Dark Energy," which is an unknown quantity causing the Universe's expansion to accelerate.
"Capitalizing on that possibility requires an unprecedented map — one that charts faint galaxies more uniformly and over a larger area of sky than ever before," said NOIRLab.
The new map comes as a result of the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys, a nearly six-year-long effort involving 1405 nights of observing three different telescopes, years of data from a space telescope, 150 observers and over 50 other researchers from around the world, and a petabyte of data, which is equal to a whopping 1000 terabytes.
NOIRLab now hopes to create a giant three-dimensional map of the universe in the next five years by measuring the distance between galaxies and the rate at which they are moving away from us.